After the loss of friend, there was one thing to do.
Do the thing he loved most — drive.
The Dunn County Car Club organized a road trip to honor the memory of Christopher Becker, who died in a car accident in the town of Menomonie last Feb. 2.
The members gathered to assemble a caravan of vehicles Saturday morning to make there way to Wisconsin Rapids for Becker’s burial. The 19-year-old Becker was born in Wisconsin Rapids before moving to Menomonie, where graduated from Menomonie High School in 2019.
As one of the founding members of the car club that began a few years ago, the club members knew they needed do something to show support, the way Becker was always there for anyone in the group.
“A group of us came together and said we need to do this, this is something that Chris would love, and we need to be there for his family and especially for each other right now,” club member Mason Johnson said.
The car club had about 20 vehicles hit the highway Saturday as about 40 members made their way to Wisconsin Rapids. The desire to quickly organize the drive and make sure everyone had a ride showed how much Becker meant to everyone in the group, club member Hayden Hasenberg said.
“It’s been really tough. It’s been really draining and I think at the end of the day there’s going to be a part of all of us that was kind of left with him, but I think in the future if we’re all here for each other we’ll be able to get through it,” Hasenberg said.
Becker was instrumental in getting participation within the group. The club formed with the desire for more local events and to build a group of people with the same passion for cars.
Becker took charge to organize get-togethers and events. Weekends in the summer typically involved cruise events in Eau Claire and daily work on cars. The club usually holds about three shows in Menomonie each summer.
Johnson has fond memories of the days working with Becker on vehicles and sharing their knowledge.
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Becker would always work on his old Dodge truck that closely resembled who he was. You could hear the truck approaching from miles away. Like the truck, Becker was loud and proud, Johnson said.
Dylan Thomas was the passenger in the vehicle with Becker the night of the accident and he said the relationships developed through the car club have helped him through a very difficult week.
The support of the club has made the loss easier to handle. On the way to the burial, group members shared memories of Becker and created new memories they can share together.
“On the way down here we made so many great memories, and we made memories on the way there and on the way back. It was nice to hear all the good memories everyone had to say about him,” Thomas said.
Seeing how much it meant to his family to have the group there was great to see, Thomas said. The mutual support has been helpful to both the family and car club members. The Becker family has been very supportive of the group and Thomas has no doubt that will continue.
“When we were down there we pealed out a little bit and you could just tell his dad was smiling and his mom was smiling and waving and blowing kisses,” Thomas said.
The friendships built through the car club have grown strong, and much of that is because of Becker. He was always there for the members of the group, both in life and with their cars. Something powerful developed among a group of young adults with the same passion for cars.
“Chris meant the whole world to us because he was that kind of guy where if you ever needed help working on your car or anything in general he was always there, he was the go-to guy,” Johnson said. “He was all about making sure we were always happy and cared for.”
Becker would be the first person to offer to help, Hasenberg said. While with another car club member who’s vehicle stalled, they realized they didn’t have what was needed for a quick fix. A call to Becker was answered with a helpful response and the stranded duo waited patiently on the side of the road for their friend who was always there for them when needed.
“We’re just waiting outside by my car and Chris and this old Thunderbird just comes flying around the corner, just screaming all the tires. He comes maybe a foot from flying right into our cars, but he was there to help,” Hasenberg said. “He was there as fast as he could be.”
The car club has plans to start a new car show this summer in Becker’s memory.
Members are hoping to raise funds at the event to help support the Becker family, and they have desires of starting a scholarship presented by the Dunn County Car Club in the future. A gathering of cars and friends is all Becker would have wanted, Hasenberg said.
“I know he can hear us and hears us all saying ‘keep ripping it up there’ because that’s what he’s doing — driving his car,” Thomas said.